What is GTS?
Gather the Spirit for Justice (GTS) began as the brainchild of a number of UCH and Shared Ministry (the congregation that formerly owned the Market Street church) members committed to community outreach, social justice, and economic equity in Harrisburg’s Allison Hill neighborhood.
GTS operated within UCH for a number of years but is now formally its own independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Many congregants know of GTS primarily through its community breakfast program, the Common Ground Café, but it also provides other forms of support by forming a partnership with like-minded organizations to establish “common ground” among the religious, community, and service organizations. Having provided the seeds of GTS—with a vision and mission explicitly in harmony with our Unitarian principle to “respect the worth and dignity of all people”—is one of the great success stories of our Church. GTS currently operates out of the Market Street campus, but with its own budget, and pays rent to UCH.
Common Ground Community Center (CGCC) is an open door environment that welcomes members of the community for a light snack, help to obtain food vouchers or a state ID, a safe respite from the stresses of the neighborhood, and access to newspapers and magazines. In the past, CGCC has also offered personal hygiene items, books for adults and children, and clothing donations to help our community.
Common Ground Cafe (CGC) is a community breakfast for the residents of the Allison Hill community. Like the CGCC, the Cafe welcomes guests for a respite from the neighborhood and a welcoming environment where guests can catch up with community neighbors and friends. Breakfasts have averaged 200 adults and children and provide a simple but nourishing meal to our guests. We hope to resume Cafe breakfasts when renovations to our new home are complete.
While providing valuable community services, the CGCC and CGC have evolved into a blended and extended family. Neighbors and guests often share their thanks for the value GTSFJ bring in building relationships and providing an environment of respect, dignity, and love.
For more information, please visit the GTS website.